Date: October 31, 2012
Recipes: http://www.annies-eats.com/2012/10/10/open-monster-face-sandwiches/ - Sandwiches
http://www.annies-eats.com/2012/10/04/witches-brew-cheesy-spinach-soup/ - Soup
Modifications: Pretty much just followed the recipe – I think we used one more potato than the recipe called for in the soup.
Time to table: 20 mins prep, 15 minutes simmering
Servings: 4 adults (for the soup)
Ben: Dislike – he wasn’t feeling the very very strong gruyere tonight, and he was a spoilsport and just made a “normal” sandwich
Annie: Like – definitely enjoyed making the sandwich!
Notes: Seemed like an appropriate, healthy and quick meal for Halloween before trick-or-treating! These open faced sandwiches are really fun for kids to make. It didn’t make Annie want to eat the veggies any more than normal – she just wanted the cheese and meat. She does really seem to like broccoli, so she ate that but she still isn’t a fan of peppers! The soup came together really quickly, and although the gruyere we got seemed a bit more pungent than normal, I still enjoyed it and so did Annie. Ben finished his but wasn’t a fan of the flavor of the cheese.
Only pic we took, whoops.
Date: August 7th, 2012
Modifications: I used the kale from the garden for this, but I was sorely light on the kale, so I cut the recipe in half and used an 8×8 pan. Still PLENTY for a dinner.
Time to table: 1 hour
Servings: 4 adult dinners
Notes: We’ve made this a couple times now, and we totally love this recipe. I was skeptical about a non-meat lasagna the first time, but I nearly prefer this to our normal meaty recipe. What it lacks in meat, it makes up for in cheese. Annie has disliked/liked/loved this on different occasions, as toddlers are wont to do.
Photo from Kate’s instagram
Modifications: I made a double batch – in one, I left the cumin out of the dressing since Kate hates it.
Time to table: 30 minutes prep
Servings: 4-5 adults
Annie: Dislike – her dinner that night was chips with a side of a few beans (not a big shock there)
Notes: I have a great many friends who have new babies, and wanted to bring a few of them a meal. I originally planned to bring Chicken Wild Rice Soup, but the 80 degree day didn’t seem to call for soup. I gave Kate a few choices, and she chose this! I totally messed up the quinoa the first time, cooking it far too long and forgetting to rinse it. Sorry about that, Kate and Kyle The second time, I cooked it in chicken broth and checked it earlier and it turned out MUCH better. There was enough for us to have a dinner of it too, in addition to bringing a pretty large amount to Kate and Kyle. I do like meals like this, but they never seem to actually leave me feeling satisfied. Not enough fat for my liking, I guess!
The second batch, brought to Lori and Jeff – they asked for the recipe, so I know it was a win for them!
Modifications: We halved the amount of chicken from 2lbs to 1lb, just because it seemed like a lot of chicken.
Time to table: 30 minutes prep, 8 hours crockpot
Servings: 2 adults, 1 toddler
Notes: This dish was meh. The original recipe calls it “barbecue” chicken, but I hesitate to use that word because it doesn’t taste like barbecue at all. We found this recipe to be oddly bland, and when we make it again we’ll for sure add more spices and salt to it. We have another bag of this in the freezer that we’ll most likely use when Erin is on maternity leave in a couple months. I DO like this method of prepping dishes though, as all you need to do is chop your vegetables, mix everything together, and freeze it – no cooking at all. We’re going to try this method with chili and see how it goes.
Annie was in a MOOD tonight and had none of this.
Modifications: I didn’t use olives in the “olive salad”, which probably makes this not authentic but I don’t really care. Neither Erin nor I like olives. I also did not use the mortadella, because that is always the stuff that looks so gross at the deli case.
Time to table: 15 minutes prep, 3 hours waiting time.
Servings: 3 adults
Notes: I came by this recipe when Bill posted about their muffaletta experience a few months ago. I drooled over his picture for a long time before finally getting around to trying it ourselves and this was a fantastic sandwich. I wish I would have used more oil in our olive salad so that more would have soaked into the bread. Annie promptly took hers apart and ate just the meat and cheese first before going after the bread.
Recipe: From Delicious & Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes, Judith Finlayson
1 lb Italian sausage
2 onions, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1 tsp dried chopped oregano
1/ tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 cup pearl barely, thoroughly rinsed under cold running water
1 28 oz can coarsely chopped tomatoes, including liquid
3 cups chicken stock
8 oz medium shrimp, cooked, peeled and deveined
1 roasted red pepper, finely chopped
- In a nonstick skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up with a spoon until no longer pink. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to slow cooker stoneware. Drain all but 1 Tbsp of fat from pan. Reduce hear to medium.
- Add onions to pan and cook, stirring, until softened. Add garlic, chili pepper, Cajun seasoning, oregano, salt, and peppercorns, stirring for one minute. Add barely and stir well. Add tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
- Pour mixture over sausage and stir. Cover and cook on LOW 6-8 hours or HIG 3-4 hours. Add shrimp and roasted red pepper. Cover and cook on HIGH for 20 minutes, until shrimp is heated through.
Time to table: 45 minutes prep, 8 hours cook time
Servings: 6 adults
Notes: We made this recipe a couple years ago, but it seemed different and I think we both liked it way more this time for some reason. Annie very much enjoyed this, unless a piece of shrimp got anywhere near her mouth. That went right back in the bowl. She also enjoyed the pear she had for dessert.
Modifications: I’ve never heard of, nor could we find, tomato powder, so we substituted tomato paste. We used boneless, skinless chicken thighs as well so we didn’t have as much meat as the original recipe called for.
Time to table: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 adult servings
Notes: I wasn’t really excited for this recipe but it surprised me, I really liked it a lot. More than that I liked that it’s very adaptable so you can take this same process and make many different variations. Annie claimed she was done after a few bites, but then shockingly found her appetite again when the grapes were brought out.
Time to table: 30 minutes
Modifications: Since this was a side dish, we left out the chicken. We also doubled this. I didn’t use Newman’s Own dressing, just some generic balsamic.
Servings: I think there were around … oh, 17 adults or something? The single recipe would easily feed 6 I think.
Annie: Dislike, would not try a bite.
Notes: Everyone really liked this! It felt very summery (as most of the ingredients are freshest in summer obviously) which was a nice change of pace – but obviously this would be better in the summer using actual fresh ingredients. Stuff like basil and tomatoes right now are pretty sad, but I still enjoyed it despite that.
Doesn’t look like much, but it’s fantastic.
Time to table: 1 hour
Modifications: I added a couple stalks of diced celery because we had some for other meals this week.
Servings: 5 adult dinners
Notes: This was an awesome soup that I’ll definitely make again,
I can’t wait for the leftovers tomorrow for lunch (We saved the leftovers for dinner tonight). We didn’t use bread bowls, but I can imagine that would be delicious. We had this for leftovers tonight and I made the mistake of crushing up some crackers in Annie’s bowl. She recognized the crackers and proceeded to pick the cracker pieces out and just eat those. Ugh.
28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 cups water
1 cup dried black beans (or one 15 oz can)
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1 onion, diced
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauced, seeded and diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 small bell peppers, diced
1 packet of chili seasoning (or make your own)
Soak the beans overnight (if you’re using dried beans)
In the morning, chop up all the veggies.
Put the tomatoes and water into the crockpot with the seasoning and mix it in well
Add all of the ingredients
Cook on high for 6-8 hours.
Serve with shredded cheese and sour cream if that’s your thing (and it is most definitely OUR thing). I also love having my chili over pasta, ever since my friend Scott introduced me to that concept a couple years ago.
Time to table: 45 minutes prep, 6 hours cook time
Servings: 4 adult dinners, 2 toddler dinners
Notes: I totally screwed up the beans here. I let the soak overnight and then put it all in the crock pot in the morning, but the beans didn’t finish cooking by the time we ate it, so the beans were hard on the outside still. Certainly edible and it was still delicious, but it would be even better with fully cooked beans. I partly blame our crockpot because it doesn’t seem to get as hot as other crock pots. We served this with leftover frozen cornbread muffins. Annie devoured all of this with reckless abandon.